Archive for Virtual Travel Topics
I love the questions Annie Ellicott raises - perhaps because most of the "traveling" I do now is what I imagine or what I remember from past trips. Reflecting on what "quality time" means or our "wildest dreams" may be as interesting, if not more, than nuts and bolts travel advice for those who have been grounded for a while. I would love to discuss how traveling brings out hidden, or new dimensions in people. When I went to China with my mother and got to see her in her home country and native language for the first time, it was like seeing her pop out in 3-D. Here she was, a funny, confident woman - not the shy immigrant I grew up with. For her, it was like everything she had read in history books - the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, becoming real under her feet. How do vacations liberate people? In what ways are we willing to try new things, take risks, when we are out of our element? This is of particular interest to me because my own blog is about how with my special needs kids I expect them to go out of their comfort zone all the time and yet as an adult I let myself chicken out of things with excuses "not enough time/money/childcare." My commitment this year is to learn the things I expect my kids to learn - diving, biking, boogie boarding, ice skating, handstands, etc. no matter how nervous or afraid of embarrassment I might feel. What is it about vacations that makes it so much easier to try sports/activities/food/customs that you ordinarily might shy away from? On the question of bringing spouses, I think any permutation could be valuable. My husband and I have traveled together since we were teenagers. We are an interracial marriage - Asian/German/Estonian/American between us - and have always viewed cross-cultural understanding as the great hope for world peace (what a huge statement! but true). We brought our daughter to Costa Rica with CRE when she was 6 years old - it was an unforgettable journey for all of us. Since then we have adopted a second daughter from China, and I am at home with them full time (while teaching yoga to children with special needs and doing some public relations consulting as well). Because of how intense it is at home, I think the idea of a solo trip as a way to rediscover the person inside the wife and mother could be the trip of a lifetime. Also, for those with children, it may be easier for one spouse to stay at home. But any opportunity to travel with this group would be "the time of our life"!
Hi Jan, I love your idea of travel as "like reading a book but one is living the part." My husband and I like to read books, fiction, or non-fiction, evocative of the places we are going to visit - it always adds to the experience to imagine what the author or his/her characters saw there. Willa Cather for New Mexico, Keats or Shelley for Northern England, Bill Bryson for hiking in New England, Jonathan Spence for China. Also, for places we've never been, great travel writing can put us there in our imaginations! I'd love to see a book discussion on this blog about books that have sparked an interest in a different culture or amplified a travel experience.